Where the Frame Carry Came From
Brain Shaw, the giant of Fort Lupton was born to parents of ordinary size. His father, Jay Shaw, a lineman for a local power company, was six feet tall. His mother, Bonnie, was an inch or so shorter. At the age of three months, Brian weighed seventeen pounds. At two years old, Brian could grab his Sit ’n Spin and toss it almost all the way across the room. In school, other children used to pile on his back during recess, not because they didn’t like him, but because they wanted to see how many of them he could carry. Brain was known for his strength very early on in his life.
In the summer of 2005, when Shaw was twenty-three, he went to Las Vegas for a strength and conditioning convention. The founder of this place was a guy named Richard Sorin, who liked to collect equipment used by old-time strongmen and had set out a few items for passers-by to try-out. There were some kettle bells lying around which looked like cannonballs with handles attached and a clumsy-looking thing called a Thomas Inch dumbbell.
Thomas Inch was an early twentieth-century British strongman, famous for his grip. His dumbbell made of cast iron, weighed a hundred and seventy-two pounds (nearly 60kg) and had a handle as thick as a tin can. In his stage shows, Inch would offer a prize of more than twenty thousand dollars in today’s currency, to anyone who could lift the dumbbell off the floor with one hand. For more than fifty years, no one but Inch managed it and only a few dozen people have done so in the half century since. So it came as something of a shock, to see Shaw reach over and pick up the dumbbell as if it were a paperweight. Three months later, Shaw won his first strongman event and within a year, he had become professional. He has since deadlifted more than a thousand pounds and pressed nearly a quarter-ton of log above his head.
It is strongmen like Inch and Shaw that have set the gold standard of what can be achieved especially with that incredible super-human like grip strength. Because of this amazing grip Strength, things such as the Axle Press and in this case, The Frame Carry were born. Testing these strongmen and their incredible endurance and grip strength throughout these spectacular challenging events.
About The Frame Carry
The frame carry is a test of speed, grip and, of course, strength. The height of the frame handles can vary, but the competitor begins by performing a side-handled deadlift to get the frame off the ground. The strongman must then cover a distance as fast as possible or continue going for a maximum distance, depending on the rules of the event.
With the weight of the frame going up to around and beyond 400kg, it can be difficult to lift the frame off the floor, let alone move with it. But despite this it is usually the grip aspect of the event that most competitors struggle with. A typical strongman competition can involve a multitude of events that push grip strength to the absolute limit. By the time the frame carry comes around, competitors often have torn callouses and bandaged their hands, making holding onto the frame an impossible task.
Training for The Frame Carry: Training for The Frame Carry takes a lot of muscular strength, determination, endurance and most of all an incredible amount of grip strength! When training for an event such as The Frame Carry, it is hard to replicate the action of the exercise unless you have a steel frame with some handles to hold, along with a point in which to add weight onto the frame. Many people travel to strongman gyms to use this type of equipment, while others simply weld together a metal frame to replicate the equipment that is used within The Frame Carry. Either way, as long as you can get the bars at your sides to hold onto along with some serious weight, then you can practice this event almost anywhere.
For beginners to this sport it is always advised that you strengthen and develop the muscles needed for such heavy lifts. With that being said, as long as you can deadlift with good weight and can keep a good posture while moving along with this weight load, there are not as many risk factors towards injury than are associated with other types of strongman events. Good training for this event; start with the basic compound exercises to build good core strength and increase the muscle mass needed to support you throughout this event. As well as deadlifting and squatting, it is also important to include such things as heavy kettle bell training along with other exercises that will allow you to build up your grip strength. Even holding a deadlift bar loaded with heavy weight for long periods of time will help to improve your grip strength. Without this grip strength, you can have all the muscle in the world, but if you cannot hold onto the frame while it is being carried, you will not succeed in this event!
Different frame weights along with different course distances, have made having an official world record difficult. There have been strongmen to set new world records for this frame carry event, but due to them being slightly different variations within these events, we cannot compare these official titles.
The strongman Mateusz Kieliszkowski from Poland carried a 392.4 kg/865lb timber frame to the top of an Incline Frame Carry event, in a blisteringly fast seven seconds, setting a new world record at the Arnold Europe Strongman Championships in 2019. Here is a clip of Mateusz achieving this title:
Although no titles were set in this event, here we have some amazing video footage, showing some American strongman monsters carrying frames that weigh 1,000lbs (454kgs!). This is a good example of The Frame Carry event taking place with these incredible weight loads: